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Volume 3 | Issue 3 | Fall 2016

Minister's Message

Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

Students have comfortably settled back into another school year and for many of them that means focusing on a career in one of the skilled trades.

With almost one million jobs expected to open in BC by 2025, we recognize that our future labour pools are enrolled in our K-12 and post-secondary school systems. That’s important, because about 80 percent of those jobs will require post-secondary education or trades training, and we are committed to ensuring those jobs are filled by as many British Columbians as possible.

That’s why we launched B.C.'s Skills

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Students have comfortably settled back into another school year and for many of them that means focusing on a career in one of the skilled trades.

With almost one million jobs expected to open in BC by 2025, we recognize that our future labour pools are enrolled in our K-12 and post-secondary school systems. That’s important, because about 80 percent of those jobs will require post-secondary education or trades training, and we are committed to ensuring those jobs are filled by as many British Columbians as possible.

That’s why we launched B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint more than two years ago. Through the Blueprint, we have re-engineered our education and training programs toward a data-driven system that tells us which jobs are most in demand.

Our Labour Market Outlook 2025 tells us which trades will have the most job openings over the next decade. Topping the list is Professional Cook, with about 12,100 job openings expected by 2025. The next highest in-demand trades are Carpenter (10,300 openings), Construction Electrician (4,600), Millwright (3,300) and Welder (3,000).

BC is expected to lead the country in economic growth for at least the next two years, and preparing our young men and women for the workforce is essential to keeping that that momentum going. Along with our partners in industry and education, we are well on our way.

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CEO Message

Gearing up to fill BC’s top in-demand trades


One of our objectives at the Industry Training Authority (ITA) is to get people excited about the career opportunities in the skilled trades. With up to a million job openings expected across the province by 2025, 123,000 of which are expected to be trade occupations, there’s never been a better time to get started on a rewarding career in the trades. A trades certificate is not just a piece of paper. It is a ticket to employment opportunities, great earning potential, and a successful career.

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Gearing up to fill BC’s top in-demand trades


One of our objectives at the Industry Training Authority (ITA) is to get people excited about the career opportunities in the skilled trades. With up to a million job openings expected across the province by 2025, 123,000 of which are expected to be trade occupations, there’s never been a better time to get started on a rewarding career in the trades. A trades certificate is not just a piece of paper. It is a ticket to employment opportunities, great earning potential, and a successful career. 

We want to ensure that British Columbians are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to take advantage of the job opportunities of today and tomorrow. For this reason, we work closely with all stakeholders of the trades industry, including employer sponsors, apprentices, industry members, and training providers, so that we can continue to build a strong and sustainable skilled trades workforce in BC. By keeping a solid pulse on industry needs, ITA is able to effectively allocate training funds for the trades that are forecast to be in demand. This effort is reflected in the training investment announcements that are being made across the province, in collaboration with the BC Government. We are committed to providing British Columbians with the right skills, at the right time.

As a tradesperson myself, I can attest that a career in the trades is as rewarding as they come; and becoming certified in an in-demand skilled trades career unleashes opportunities like you wouldn’t believe. We need tradespeople in the coming years — and let me tell you from experience: there is no better feeling than doing what you love and being in demand.

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Employer Profile

Employer Recognition Certificate presentation at Copper Mountain, pictured: current apprentices, Red Seal tradespeople, Jackie Tegart (MLA for Fraser-Nicola), and Finbar O’Sullivan (ITA Apprenticeship Advisor).

Homegrown apprentices excel in trades careers at Copper Mountain Mine

Last year alone, Copper Mountain Mine achieved production of 77.6 million pounds of copper, 29,000 ounces of gold and 276,000 ounces of silver—an impressive accomplishment thanks to their staff of homegrown apprentices and skilled tradespeople who fill some of the top, in-demand trades careers in BC.

Millwrights, Welders, Electricians, Carpenters, Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians, and Pipefitters—it takes a team of skilled tradespeople to keep a mine up and running. Apprentices are initially attracted to these trades since they are some of the top, in-demand career

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Homegrown apprentices excel in trades careers at Copper Mountain Mine

Last year alone, Copper Mountain Mine achieved production of 77.6 million pounds of copper, 29,000 ounces of gold and 276,000 ounces of silver—an impressive accomplishment thanks to their staff of homegrown apprentices and skilled tradespeople who fill some of the top, in-demand trades careers in BC.

Millwrights, Welders, Electricians, Carpenters, Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians, and Pipefitters—it takes a team of skilled tradespeople to keep a mine up and running. Apprentices are initially attracted to these trades since they are some of the top, in-demand career opportunities across BC, and it is Copper Mountain’s commitment to the apprenticeship system that keeps them sticking around.

A source of company pride stems from the homegrown quality of their workforce. Copper Mountain only hires apprentices who are then taught from the ground up. This, the company has found, leads to high employee retention and great quality work.

“The retention rate for apprentices who become Red Seal certified is 100 percent,” explains Kim Vokey, Human Resources, Copper Mountain. “Many of the people who started as apprentices and become certified want to remain working for Copper Mountain and living in the Princeton area.”

The opportunity for growth at Copper Mountain is earned — and since most employees understand the value of a career in the trades and are committed to investing in themselves, they have become champions for the company, the apprenticeship program, and a sought after career in the skilled trades.

Find out what makes Copper Mountain Mine a Champion of Apprenticeship, and what makes it takes to become an employer sponsor

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Sector Spotlight

Meet Tracey MacLennan, Manager of Industry Relations, Mining

In response to B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, ITA has four Managers of Industry Relations to oversee broader industry engagement, which is key to ensuring a responsive and relevant skills training system in BC. Tracey MacLennan, the Manager of Industry Relations responsible for overseeing the Mining sector (as well as Aerospace, Forestry and Manufacturing), tells us what she’s learned on the job so far.

ITA Trades Talk: What first

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Meet Tracey MacLennan, Manager of Industry Relations, Mining

In response to B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, ITA has four Managers of Industry Relations to oversee broader industry engagement, which is key to ensuring a responsive and relevant skills training system in BC. Tracey MacLennan, the Manager of Industry Relations responsible for overseeing the Mining sector (as well as Aerospace, Forestry and Manufacturing), tells us what she’s learned on the job so far.

ITA Trades Talk: What first attracted you to work in the skilled trades?

Tracey: Following several years spent managing industry and public partnerships globally in the education sector, I was interested in returning to education with a focus on skills development as it plays a critical role in empowering our communities and driving economic growth.

ITA Trades Talk: As a Manager of Industry Relations, how do you keep a pulse on industry needs?

Tracey: Across industry, there are core groups of individuals who are committed to advancing the workforce needs of their sector. These are the leaders who raise their hand and go beyond the call. I work with these groups, as well as other industry members who share their knowledge and experience. I also sit on the BC Mining Labour Market Information Steering Committee, where we work to define the future needs of the sector.

ITA Trades Talk: What is the current mining landscape in British Columbia?

Tracey: Mining is a great example of an industry that has a really tight group of people who have been there for a long time, and are keen to advance industry interests. Currently, the mining industry is in a period of stabilizing with renewed growth, as operations begin to rebound following a period of contraction and restructuring to create more efficiencies.

ITA Trades Talk: What are some of the top opportunities that currently exist in the mining industry for apprentices and tradespeople?

Tracey: There are currently two BC mines in development that are anticipated to be operational in early 2017. As a result, Millwrights, Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians, Welders and related machine operators will be in demand in years to come.

Learn more about what ITA is doing to remain connected to industry and to provide BC with the right skilled workers to fill the jobs in demand.

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ITA at Work

BC steps into an innovative trades training future

ITA has been hard at work to create a world class apprenticeship system for British Columbians since the launch of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the release of recommendations in the McDonald Report. Here are just a few of the many actions ITA has delivered on to help ensure all supports are in place to advance apprenticeship

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BC steps into an innovative trades training future

ITA has been hard at work to create a world class apprenticeship system for British Columbians since the launch of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the release of recommendations in the McDonald Report. Here are just a few of the many actions ITA has delivered on to help ensure all supports are in place to advance apprenticeship completion across the province.

BC steps into an innovative trades training future

Based on recommendations made in the provincial government’s B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, ITA supports efforts to continually explore and develop new and innovative ways to make trades training work better, especially by encouraging stronger partnerships with industry, labour and training providers. For example, ITA recently embarked on an innovative partnership with the BC Chamber of Commerce (BCCC). Through this partnership, ITA will be looking to explore the apprenticeship and labour needs of each region of the province, and engage with small- and medium-sized businesses to develop models that encourage businesses to sponsor apprentices and help them overcome barriers to sponsorship.

Over and above partnerships, there are other innovative practices underway across BC that involve the delivery of technical training through flexible scheduling and the use of innovative tools to attract apprentices and encourage program completion; the availability of student supports and programs for apprentices that help to build on essential skills and cultural knowledge that support employment success and retention; and the introduction of training models that break down barriers to accessing trades training by bringing training opportunities to apprentices in remote areas across BC.

Read more about innovative practices underway across the province that involve flexible delivery, regional access, student supports and partnerships.

Industry engagement top-of-mind as ITA announces two new Board members and a Director of Industry Relations

ITA is pleased to announce the appointment of Rieghardt van Enter as Director, Industry Relations, and Laurie Sterritt and Shane Stirling as new members of the ITA Board of Directors, to continue to lead and ensure BC’s trades training system aligns with industry demand.

Rieghardt van Enter joins ITA with many years of experience working in the construction industry, having recently been the Chair of ITA’s Construction Association Sector Advisory Group. Prior to joining ITA, he worked with the Line Contractors Association of BC, euLogix Management Consulting, and Capilano University.

Laurie Sterritt is the Director of Aboriginal Employment and Business Development at BC Hydro. She brings 20 years of experience to the ITA Board, having led projects across public, private and non-profit sectors, and is a member of the Kispiox Band of the Gitsxan Nation.

Shane Stirling is Vice-President of Epscan Industries, an electrical and instrumentation service provider in the Northeast British Columbia oil and gas industry. He is active in the direction and growth of trades training at the local, provincial and federal levels, and is Red Seal certified in four trades.

With their combined and diverse industry experience, ITA’s newly appointed team and Board members are well-equipped to help ITA continue to lead an effective industry engagement strategy and approach.

Find out more about how ITA leadership and the ITA Board of Directors is working with industry to keep up with the labour market demand for skilled workers. 

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Youth Initiatives

Jeff Lekstrom (Right), COO at Industry Training Authority and Welder by trade, put on his gear and joined in on the welding excitement with student Steven Martin.

"Mind over Metal" camp introduces students to the welding trade

This summer, students from the BC Provincial School for the Deaf (BCSD) put on their welding helmets, and put their creativity and skills to work at the launch of the “Mind over Metal” camp in Burnaby. The three-day long welding camp was hosted by the Canadian Welding Association (CWA) Foundation in partnership with Ironworkers Local 97 and ITA. This was the first welding opportunity offered to deaf students in Canada.

The event was one of 35 welding camps being funded across Canada by CWA this year, nine of which were hosted in British Columbia—from as north as

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"Mind over Metal" camp introduces students to the welding trade

This summer, students from the BC Provincial School for the Deaf (BCSD) put on their welding helmets, and put their creativity and skills to work at the launch of the “Mind over Metal” camp in Burnaby. The three-day long welding camp was hosted by the Canadian Welding Association (CWA) Foundation in partnership with Ironworkers Local 97 and ITA. This was the first welding opportunity offered to deaf students in Canada.

The event was one of 35 welding camps being funded across Canada by CWA this year, nine of which were hosted in British Columbia—from as north as Fort Nelson all the way down to the Lower Mainland.

The purpose of the camps was to give youth the chance to learn best safety practices, and the basics of welding through both theory and small hands-on projects. The camps also promote and introduce students to the many great career opportunities projected in the welding industry over the next 10 years, ranging from Welder and Welding Inspector to Welding Researcher and Welding Engineer.

By the end of the camps, some students were hooked on welding and expressed interest in the trade as a career.

Find out what it takes to get your start as a Welder.

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Youth Initiatives

Youth trades training programs offer more options for BC students

Early exposure is the name of the game when it comes to ITA's Youth Trades Training Program. With various programs in place in the K-12 system, ITA works closely with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, Skills Training, and Labour, as well as school districts and educators to get students thinking about trades careers as early as possible.

On September 22, ITA, alongside the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister, Jobs, Tourism, Skills Training, and Labour, unveiled BC's updated Youth Trades Training Program at Terry Fox Secondary School, in Port

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Youth trades training programs offer more options for BC students

Early exposure is the name of the game when it comes to ITA's Youth Trades Training Program. With various programs in place in the K-12 system, ITA works closely with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, Skills Training, and Labour, as well as school districts and educators to get students thinking about trades careers as early as possible.

On September 22, ITA, alongside the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister, Jobs, Tourism, Skills Training, and Labour, unveiled BC's updated Youth Trades Training Program at Terry Fox Secondary School, in Port Coquitlam. Having received a funding lift of $7.8 million, specifically to support ITA's Youth Trades Training Program, ITA is introducing some new programs and is renaming the existing programs to help students, parents, and educators better understand the makeup and flow of the programs, and to increase student enrollment in the trades.

One of the new additions to the lineup of programs is the Youth Explore Trades Sampler which will give secondary school students the opportunity to try a number of trades before they commit to any which one. Students will continue to have access to dual-credit programs, such as Youth Train in Trades, formerly the Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) program, and Youth Work in Trades, formerly the Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) program. The updated youth programs will be available for course selection for the 2017/2018 school year.

Learn more about ITA's Youth Trades Training Program, and how you can get a leg up in your career, and check out photos and a video of the announcement.

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Aboriginal Initiatives

Photo credit: UA Piping Industry College of British Columbia (UAPIC).

Graduates celebrate completion of the Aboriginal Opportunities for Trades Upgrading program

ITA joined the UA Piping Industry College of BC (UAPICBC) and the Lax Kw’alaams community to celebrate the graduating class of the Aboriginal People in Trades Training (AITT) program in Prince Rupert on June 23.

The Aboriginal Opportunities for Trades Upgrading program was delivered by UAPICBC and the Lax Kw’alaams community as part of ITA’s AITT program in an effort to provide technical training, essential skills, math and technology upgrading, and other workforce skills training. The program was funded by the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

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Graduates celebrate completion of the Aboriginal Opportunities for Trades Upgrading program

ITA joined the UA Piping Industry College of BC (UAPICBC) and the Lax Kw’alaams community to celebrate the graduating class of the Aboriginal People in Trades Training (AITT) program in Prince Rupert on June 23.

The Aboriginal Opportunities for Trades Upgrading program was delivered by UAPICBC and the Lax Kw’alaams community as part of ITA’s AITT program in an effort to provide technical training, essential skills, math and technology upgrading, and other workforce skills training. The program was funded by the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and the Canada-BC Job Fund Agreement through ITA.

At the time of the graduation, some of the graduates were already enrolled in further training in Construction or the Piping Foundation course, and well on their way to having successful careers in the skilled trades.

Learn more about ITA’s Aboriginal in Trades Training (AITT) programs, and find the right fit for you. 

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In the News

Snapshot: BC’s top in-demand careers

Since the introduction of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, ITA has been working to coordinate the trades training system to prepare British Columbians for anticipated future job openings across the province. To ensure we have the right workers being funneled into the right jobs, ITA has realigned training investment and identified the top in-demand skilled trades careers based on industry needs.

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Snapshot: BC’s top in-demand careers

Since the introduction of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, ITA has been working to coordinate the trades training system to prepare British Columbians for anticipated future job openings across the province. To ensure we have the right workers being funneled into the right jobs, ITA has realigned training investment and identified the top in-demand skilled trades careers based on industry needs.

Trade

What you do

Job openings expected between now and 2025*

Professional Cook

Cooks are responsible for preparing, slicing, and dicing

ingredients so that every meal that leaves the kitchen is perfect.

12,100

Carpenter

Carpenters construct, renovate, and repair structures made

of wood, steel, concrete, and other materials.

10,300

Automotive Service Technician

Automotive Service Technicians repair and service engines,

steering and brake systems, vehicle suspensions and more.

5,440

Construction Electrician

Electricians inspect electronic systems, install electrical gear in

hard-to-reach places, and troubleshoot electrical devices.

4,600

Millwright

Millwrights install, repair, overhaul, and maintain one-of-a-kind machines that very few people can understand.

3,300

Welder

Welders use flame-cutting, brazing, welding and air-arcing equipment to fuse metals in all positions.

3,000

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician

Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians repair and maintain heavy-duty equipment used in all sorts of industries.

2,800

Machinist

Machinists transform raw materials like metal, plastic, and titanium into precision parts for many industries.

1,400

Crane Operator

Crane Operators manage everything to do with crane work including planning the lift, setting up the crane, and taking the crane down again.

800

Steamfitter/Pipefitter

 

 

Sprinkler System Installer

Steamfitters and Pipefitters design, assemble, install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair complex piping systems.

800

 

Sprinkler System Installers are responsible for designing, assembling, and installing sprinkler systems.

Find out more about the most in-demand skilled trades in BC, and how to get your start at a rewarding career.

*Job opening numbers are from the British Columbia 2015 Labour Market Outlook

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Information Box

Video: Kamloops trades profile

Watch this video to find out more about how the journeypersons and apprentices at Kamloops Ford Lincoln got their start, the barriers and successes they have encountered along the way, and their overall experience working in the skilled trades.

2015–2016 ITA Year in Review

Take a look at what ITA has accomplished this past year—from connecting apprentices and employers to filling jobs in top

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Video: Kamloops trades profile

Watch this video to find out more about how the journeypersons and apprentices at Kamloops Ford Lincoln got their start, the barriers and successes they have encountered along the way, and their overall experience working in the skilled trades.

2015–2016 ITA Year in Review

Take a look at what ITA has accomplished this past year—from connecting apprentices and employers to filling jobs in top industries, and from introducing more students to our youth programs to funding more training seats, we are well on our way to a skilled BC.

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Meet B.C.'s Champions of Apprenticeship

Today's youth have an array of career options to choose from, but they also face the perception that the skilled trades are not the most desirable career choice. In order to keep our construction and other skilled labour sectors robust and growing, we must be proactive in presenting the trades as a desirable career option for our youth.

Have your say

Trades Talk strives to report on the issues and challenges that matter to you. We want to hear your solutions, best practices and success stories. We would also appreciate your feedback on Trades Talk and any suggestions you have. Email your comments to tradestalk@itabc.ca.